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Last Chance

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Right now there doesn't seem to be a lot of excitement for a football game against bottom feeding Pac-10 team. Some Arizona fans have already given up on this season:

Let's face it. Arizona football is done for the year. We won't be playing a meaningful game till early September of 2007. Sure we should still go to the games and cheer on our team and watch as they develop before our eyes. But a winning season? No, not this year. It's time to get next season started.
This of course doesn't excuse the Bruins from coming out uninspired and bored, when they come out of the home team tunnel tomorrow night. As DD notes this will be the last chance for the Bruin offense to kick into a higher gear before the Beavers come into town later in the season:
The Stat of the Week this week comes to us courtesy of the Bruin offense: 8 touchdowns in 4 games.  Given that we have played 3 of the worst defenses in the country and one average one, this stat almost offends us. How many more games will KD and Co get to "grow" and "learn" and still have a chance to win?  We think this Saturday might be the last such game this year.  By the time we reach another gimme in Oregon State in mid-November we could very well be on a 4 game losing streak and excuses such as those won't work anymore.  8 touchdowns in 4 games will not cut it against the likes of Oregon, Notre Dame, Cal, and maybe even a resurging Washington State.  It might not cut it against an awful Arizona this weekend.  Jim Svoboda, Jim Colletto, Karl Dorrell have got this one last game to get this offense in gear.  17 points, all in the second half, against the awful Cardinal - that has to embarrass them, no matter how much happy talk and happy thoughts they offer afterwards.
Speaking of happy talks/happy thoughts right now lots of that going around on our number 3 defense (which as noted yesterday has yet to play a top-40 offense). Folks from Arizona including their head coach are gushing about the Bruin defense:
There has not been a more successful makeover in Los Angeles this year than what has been achieved by the UCLA football team's defense.

The Bruins don't look like the same team that Arizona routed a year ago in a 52-14 win at Arizona Stadium and Southern California beat 66-19. The Wildcats will be sadly mistaken if they expect the same look during their 4 p.m. game Saturday at the Rose Bowl.

"This is a great example of going from worst to first," UA coach Mike Stoops said. "They have made adjustments and are really playing well defensively."
More on the Bruin defense bearing down from the local paper in Tucson:
UCLA has been tough enough on first and second downs on defense, but the Bruins excel on third downs, a category in which Arizona is at its worst on offense.

The Wildcats enter the game having converted just three of their last 26 third-down conversions (11.5 percent), 25 percent overall. UCLA leads the country in third-down defense, allowing 19.2 percent of the plays to be successful.

"Our defense is playing very, very well," UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said. "They're causing turnovers, making big plays, stopping on third downs and shutting down the running game - doing all the things that are important for us to be a top- notch defense."

Stanford did little offensively a week ago against the Bruins, managing just 166 yards of total offense while turning the ball over five times. The Cardinal were sacked seven times in the 31-0 loss.

There are such high expectations for the UCLA defense now that those numbers aren't even good enough to match the goals.

"We got together as a defense in a meeting and talked about a shutout and holding them to 150 yards," Hickman said. "We got the shutout, but they got 166 yards. This week we haven't talked about what (our goals are), but we want a shutout. You always want a shutout on defense."
Needless to say Hickman and his line mates are getting a lot of press. Yesterday it was Dohn profiling Davis, and Daily Bruin talking up Hickman. Today Lonnie White follows up with a story on both Hickman and Davis, while Jill Painter has a story on freshman DL Jerzy Siewierski.

Sure hope they live up to all the hype tomorrow. Its probably unrealistic to expect a back to back shutouts, but if they are as good as their stats. Suggests, then Zona should not be in scoring in double digits. In other words they will probably give their team-mates another opportunity to get all their issues fixed up on Saturday, before they head up to Oregon. As noted above this will be the last chance for our offense to "learn" and "grow" until second weekend of November.

Let's hope the coaches don't blow it.